From NBC's Brenda Shepard
In the final speech at CPAC yesterday, FOX media personality Glenn Beck began with a remark about his hatred for Woodrow Wilson, and followed by bringing out his chalk board, on which he simply wrote the word "progressivism." He went on to mention the word at least 18 times.
"It's not enough just to not suck as bad as the other side," he said.
Beck discussed his struggle with alcohol, saying he is a "recovering alcoholic. But I believe in redemption." He suggested that Republicans need to admit they have a problem as well.
Beck then went on to connect alcoholism -- and even cancer -- to progressivism. "[Progressivism] is the disease here in America," he said. "It's in both parties. It's eating the Constitution. It's designed to."
He continued by discussing what would be a recurring theme in his speech: "Morning in America." Unlike the famous Reagan phrase about it, Beck described America's morning as one with a treacherous hangover, leaving the country hanging on our toilet bowls in recovery.
Beck also condemned conservatives for not being, well, conservative enough. "Being conservative means having personal responsibility," Beck said. "We have the right to fail," he continued, "without failure there is no growth... There is no sweetness of success."
Beck mentioned his own downfall intermittently throughout his speech, and he suggested that because of that failure he could stand and give the speech in front of thousands today.
Beck gave the crowd a history lesson, beginning with the 1920s. Universal health care, prohibition and even the League of Nations were among issues discussed. When he mentioned the creation of the Federal Reserve, resounding "boos" could be heard from the crowd. He then went on to praise President Calvin Coolidge's administration.
"We believe in the right of the individual," Beck said. But he added, "We don't have a right to health care, housing or handouts." He said that the government does not have the power to give individuals their rights, "God does."